By Philip Cosores
The Weeknd‘s new album, Beauty Behind the Madness, was released on Friday, and anything short of large first week sales and strong reviews would be considered a disappointment. And despite being typically media shy when it comes to album releases. the R&B titan has offered up a couple interviews for this release cycle, with the latest appearing on Pitchfork today.
In the Q&A, the Weeknd’s most noteworthy tidbits come about some of his collaborators. When speaking of Kanye West, who produced the song “Tell Your Friends,” the Weeknd drew a parallel to what West had done in his career and what the Weeknd is trying to do in his own.
“To actually be with him and talk to him and work with him, it’s just like coming to life,” the Weeknd said. “He had to make the same decisions I did: College Dropout, Late Registration, and then the shift into Graduation, and another shift into 808s & Heartbreak, which got mixed reviews but is one of the most important bodies of work of my generation. Kanye needed to be on this album, because I feel like I’m going through what he’s been going through—reinventing himself and pushing the boundaries. And he looks at himself as pop. He says, ‘I’m a pop artist. You can’t put me in one category.'”
The Weeknd also spoke about Lana Del Rey, noting an interesting parallel between their music, and saying that she was the first feature that he wanted on the new album. “I feel like we’ve always been talking to each other through our music,” he said. “She is the girl in my music, and I am the guy in her music.”
Beauty Behind the Madness is out now.